Classrooms vs Distance Learning. Which suits Visual Learners?
by Lesley Graham
There is a little story behind this blog. Early in my teaching career I was going to give a talk on distance education and had only few days' notice.
I looked through my email address book and sent out a few requests to students asking for a short feedback, hoping that in a couple of days' time I would have enough information to put something together. An hour later I switched on the email, and there were quite a few replies. This was one of them...
Emily from Northern New South Wales wrote:
I am very passionate about the availability of distance education!
Firstly, I am a visual learner, I respond better to information that is typed out that I can "see" than that which is delivered by a teacher aurally. This visual learning style may be attributed also to the fact I have Attention Deficit Disorder (this may be a bit personal but I believe it is relevant, as people with learning difficulties do not always respond to the traditional classroom/tutorial learning situation - I certainly didn't).
Distance learning helped me with this in the following areas:
a.) Reading through information at my own pace gives me more time to process information - my information processing speed is probably a lot slower than most people.
b.) If I feel fatigued (as people with ADD quite often do) I do not have to waste my time sitting through a lesson and feeling cut off from what is being said - I can stop what I am doing and come back later.
c.) Confidence in my intellectual ability. Education was always a priority with me and distance education gave me more time to actually learn rather than sitting in a classroom feeling dumb...
An interesting point to add to this story is I had no idea at all that Emily had difficulties learning in the conventional manner, therefore I didn’t treat her any differently than the other students.
‘Visual learners’ tend to:
- Remember what they see rather than what they hear
- Remember diagrams and pictures
- Prefer to read and write rather than listen
- Have trouble remembering verbal instructions
- Need an overall view and purpose before beginning a project
- Like art more than music
- Sometimes tune out when trying to pay attention
(On the other hand, ‘auditory learners’ tend to prefer classroom listening and discussion).